ByDean Round, writer at
Fan of good ol' slasher films. Love me a bit of Jaws too!
Dean Round

Stand by Me was set in the small town of Castle Rock, Oregon, during the summer of 1959. The film follows four 12 year-old boys as they set off to find the body of a missing boy named Ray Brower, who has not been seen for several days.

Setting off through the woods, they learn more about themselves, the true meaning of friendship and the need to stand up for what they believe in.

Nominated for an Oscar at the 1987 Academy Awards, the film left an impressive legacy. For example, director Rob Reiner co-founded Castle Rock Entertainment, a company which took its name from the fictional town that the film was set.

In 2010, a 25th Anniversary Celebration was held in Oregon. The event consisted of a Q&A session with the cast and crew, plus a blueberry pie eating contest.

Funeral for a Friend featured a song entitled Stand by Me for the millionth time on their seventh, and final, full-length album, Chapter and Verse.

The film also had an Easter Egg in Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow.

Family Guy (1999– ) parodied the film in the 15th episode of season 7.

The four boys.

Gordon "Gordie" LaChance.

Gordie is the intelligent, sensitive boy of the group. He reminisces about his family life, especially regarding his late brother Denny. Denny was killed in a road accident, and Gordie finds himself as the invisible boy at home. Being ignored by his parents, he finds himself alone, with no one to talk to apart from his three friends.

Contemplating whether he should join the shop classes to be closer to his friends, or pursue his dreams of becoming a writer and join the college prep classes instead, his loyalty to his friends shines throughout the film.

Christopher "Chris" Chambers.

Chris is the tough boy of the group. His father is an alcoholic, and his brother is a bully. Despite his tough persona, it transpires that he is a very sensitive soul, who worries deeply that his bad name (and that of his family) will stop his chances of getting into college.

Chris always stands up for his friends, even confronting the main bully on several occasions. His hard outer shell is often exposed, however, as is evident when he breaks down and declares that "I wish that I could go someplace where nobody knows me."

Towards the climax of the film, it is revealed that Chris enrolled in the College-courses with Gordie, and although it was hard, he gutted it out like he always did and eventually became a lawyer.

Teddy Duchamp.

Teddy is the crazy boy of the group who looks up to his father who stormed the beach at Normandy. It later transpires that his father went mad and took Teddy's ear to a stove and almost burned it off, but despite this, Teddy would defend him to anyone who dared to slate his name.

Teddy's dream was to join the army, but his vision and ear kept him out. In his later life it was revealed that he had spent some time in jail and was now doing odd jobs around Castle Rock.

Vern Tessio.

Vern is the cowardly (and somewhat bullied) member of the group. Like Chris, his brother, Billy, is also a member of the gang led by the films main antagonist.

In his later life, it is revealed that Vern got married out of High-school, had four kids and was now the forklift operator at the Arsenal Lumberyard.

The other characters.

John "Ace" Merrill.

Merrill is not afraid to show to not only use threatening behavior and physical violence. This is demonstrated when he forces Chris to the ground, threatening to burn his face with a lit cigarette.

The character also featured in another Stephen King book: Needful Things. In the novel, Merrill keeps the same characteristics and is once again a main villain. John "Ace" Merrill is the main bully of the film and is the leader of the gang of teenagers who follow the four young boys to find the body of Brower.

Richard "Eyeball" Chambers.

Richard "Eyeball" Chambers is the older brother of Chris and acts as Ace's right-hand-man. He appears to care little for his brother and has no issues in doing whatever Ace asks him to, whether he thinks it's right or wrong.

Adult Gordie.

The adult Gordie narrates the film, and the whole story is based on a memoir about his adventure with his friends and it is revealed that his dream of becoming a writer came true.

Denny Lachance.

Denny Lachance is Gordie's older brother who was a big football star. He was due to accept a scholarship at college, but was tragically killed in a car accident in 1960. It is shown that Denny had a close relationship with his younger brother, and was clearly the favorite child of their parents.

The film has some amazing scenes, quotes and insults!

The cast.

Wil Wheaton (Gordie Lachance)

Wil Wheaton recently (left) and in Stand By Me
Wil Wheaton recently (left) and in Stand By Me

Richard William Wheaton III is known for his work on Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014), The Big Bang Theory (2007– ) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994).

Born on July 29, 1972 in Burbank, California, Wheaton has been married to Anne Wheaton (nee Prince) since November 7, 1999. He currently lives in Arcadia, California, with her and her two sons.

River Phoenix (Chris Chambers)

River Phoenix in 1993 (left) and in Stand By Me
River Phoenix in 1993 (left) and in Stand By Me

River Jude Bottom was born on 23 August 1970, Madras, Oregon, and he is the older brother of Joaquin, Summer, Rain and Liberty.

Phoenix was nominated for an Oscar for Running on Empty (1988), and his legacy lives on to this day. He was one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1986", he was ranked at number 64 on a "Greatest Movie Stars of All Time" and was ranked number 86 in Empire magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time".

However, one fateful night, Phoenix died of acute multiple drug intoxication through lethal levels of cocaine and morphine outside Johnny Depp's club, the Viper Room in Los Angeles. He was only 23.

You can read more about his life and death by clicking the link here.

Corey Feldman (Teddy Duchamp)

Corey Feldman recently (left) and in Stand By Me
Corey Feldman recently (left) and in Stand By Me

Corey Feldman was born on 16 July 1971, in California. Alongside the late actor Corey Haim, he starred in the Reality-TV series The Two Coreys (2007– ). At the time, the pair were the two highest paid teen stars of the 1980's.

Apparently, Feldman was introduced to drugs after Phoenix took him to a local dance. His drug abuse continued for some time, and he was reportedly almost fired from The Lost Boys (1987) when he turned up on set while on marijuana and cocaine.

Feldman's other work includes Minecraft: Story Mode - A Telltale Games Series (2015), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012– ), Katy Perry: Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) (2011), and Psych (2006–2014).

Jerry O'Connell (Vern Tessio)

Jerry O'Connell recently (left) and in Stand By Me
Jerry O'Connell recently (left) and in Stand By Me

Jeremiah O'Connell was born on 17 February 1974, in New York. His acting credits include Billions (2016– ), Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016), Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015), The Mysteries of Laura (2014– ), We Are Men (2013) and The League (2009– ).

During filming, O'Connell was really impressed that he was allowed to swear so much. But looking back, he doesn't remember the film so fondly due to being overweight at the time.

O'Connell is also one of four actors to appear in the Scream franchise [Scream 2 (1997)], and in one of its parodies [Scary Movie 5 (2013)].

Kiefer Sutherland (Ace Merrill)

Kiefer Sutherland recently (left) and in Stand By Me
Kiefer Sutherland recently (left) and in Stand By Me

Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland was born on 21 December 1966, in London.

He is known for his work in Forsaken (2015), Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015), 24: Live Another Day (2014– ), Pompeii (2014) and Touch (2012–2013)

in 2005 he was awarded a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto, and in 2008, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Bradley Gregg (Eyeball Chambers)

Bradley Gregg recently (left) and in Stand By Me
Bradley Gregg recently (left) and in Stand By Me

Bradley Gregg has starred with River Phoenix in three films; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Stand by Me (1986) and Explorers (1985).

Gregg owns the production company Eventide Fields where he wrote and directed Journey to Jemima (2006). He is currently working on his second directional film, Cedars of Lebanon, and he made his last full-length acting role in the comedy/drama Whiplash (2002).

Casey Siemaszko (Billy Tessio)

Casey Siemaszko recently (left) and in Stand By Me
Casey Siemaszko recently (left) and in Stand By Me

Born Kazimierz A. Siemaszko on 17 March 1961, Casey Siemaszko is known for The Blacklist (2013– ), Person of Interest (2011– ), Unforgettable (2011– ), and the Back to the Future trilogy.

He is the older brother of actress Nina Siemaszko and he graduated from the Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University in Chicago.

Marshall Bell (Mr. Lachance)

Marshall Bell recently (left) and in Stand By Me
Marshall Bell recently (left) and in Stand By Me

Marshall Bell's acting credits include Legends (2014– ), The Bling Ring (2013), Starship Troopers (1997), The X-Files (1993– ), Total Recall (1990) and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985).

He made television history by becoming the first person to die in an episode of Tales from the Crypt (1989–1996).

Bell is married to multi-Oscar-winning costume designer Milena Canonero, who has worked on films such as The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and Marie Antoinette. (2006).

Frances Lee McCain (Mrs. Lachance)

Frances Lee McCain recently (left) and in Stand By Me
Frances Lee McCain recently (left) and in Stand By Me

Frances Lee McCain earned an MA Psychology degree from the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Her acting credits include True Crime (1999), Scream (1996), Back to the Future (1985), Gremlins (1984) and Dallas (1978–1991).

John Cusack (Denny Lachance)

John Cusack recently (left) and in Stand By Me
John Cusack recently (left) and in Stand By Me

Golden Globe nominee John Cusack was born on 28 June, 1966, in Illinois. His acting credits include The Numbers Station (2013), The Frozen Ground (2013), Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013), Grand Piano (2013), The Raven (2012) and The Paperboy (2012).

The star owns New Crime Productions, which he created with two high school friends.

His recent credits include Dragon Blade (2015), Reclaim (2014), The Bag Man (2014), Maps to the Stars (2014), Drive Hard (2014), The Prince (2014) and Love & Mercy (2014)

Cusack's next work will be in Kickback (2016) and Cell (2016)

Richard Dreyfuss (The Writer/Narrator/Adult Gordie)

Richard Dreyfuss recently (left) and in Stand By Me
Richard Dreyfuss recently (left) and in Stand By Me

Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss is known for his work on Very Good Girls (2013), Paranoia (2013), Parenthood (2010–2015), Weeds (2005–2012), and Family Guy (1999–) as well as Jaws (1975).

Born in Brooklyn in 1947, Dreyfuss was the youngest man to win a best actor Oscar for The Goodbye Girl (1977). This was overtaken by Adrien Brody who won it at the age of 29 for The Pianist (2002).

His latest work was in the drama Zipper (2015), and Your Family or Mine (2015).

The ending.

As time went on we saw less and less of Teddy and Vern until eventually they became just two more faces in the halls. That happens sometimes. Friends come in and out of your life like busboys in a restaurant.

This line is especially resonant for some, as it's such a sad but true statement.

Chris's fate is also a sad one, having turned his fortunes around and getting into the legal profession.

For me, the saddest part is the fading-out of Chris as he waves goodbye. Probably not as effective in 1986, but following Phoenix's death, the scene becomes even more harrowing.


Is Stand By Me the best coming-of-age film ever?


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